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November 26th - Council approves design for Barrhaven LRT

Light rail transit will extend to Barrhaven if upper levels of government invest in the $3-billion project. City Council today approved extending LRT by 10 kilometres and seven stations from Baseline Station to Barrhaven Town Centre. The design includes three crossings to separate VIA Rail tracks from Woodroffe Avenue, the southwest Transitway and Fallowfield Road, along with interim measures to make transit more efficient and reliable along Woodroffe Avenue. Council previously approved an environmental assessment to extend LRT to Kanata and Stittsville. Together with the Barrhaven extension, these projects comprise Stage 3 of LRT.

To reduce buses downtown and improve transit, Council endorsed the Société de transport de l'Outaouais’ all-tram scenario for its proposed transit-system expansion, along with two options to integrate the tramway in Ottawa. The preferred corridor is a tunnel under Sparks Street. Council will only recommend the alternate surface corridor on Wellington Street with traffic maintained if the STO cannot secure funding for the tunnel and resolve outstanding issues with the corridor.

Council received audits about the cancellation of the lease for Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton Park at 300 Coventry Road and OC Transpo bus maintenance and driver training. Management agrees with all 28 recommendations made by the Auditor General. Council also received an annual report on the Fraud and Waste Hotline, which saw an 18-per-cent increase in reports in 2019.

Council received a report from the Integrity Commissioner about an inquiry into College Ward Councillor Rick Chiarelli’s conduct.

There are 463 additional properties on the Heritage Register, which identifies buildings of cultural and historic value and gives the City more time for review if the owner wants to demolish the building. Council approved adding 442 properties in Centretown and 21 in other parts of Ottawa.

Birds striking buildings is the second biggest human-related cause of bird deaths in Canada and Safe Wings Ottawa estimates that such collisions kill about 250,000 birds in Ottawa every year. Council approved bird-safe design guidelines to help keep birds from colliding with buildings, reducing injuries and deaths.

Council deferred receiving a report recommending amendments to the City’s partnership agreement with Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group for Lansdowne so it can be considered at the same meeting as an audit of the partnership, on Wednesday, December 9.

To provide stability to the City during these unprecedented times, Council approved extending the City Manager’s contract until May 15, 2023, six months into the next Term of Council. This would give the next Council time to hire a new City Manager.

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©2019 by Jan Harder.